Hello from Australia’s National Capital and my home city, Canberra.
And before I forget… for any Americans out there, we pronounce it more like “Can-bra” than “Can-BEAR-ah”. And Melbourne is more like “Mel-bahn” than “Mel-that-guy-played-by-Matt-Damon-when-he-had-amazing-biceps-but-I-wish-they-hadn’t-killed-off-Franka-Potente-because-I-like-Run-Lola-Run-and-that-was-the-first-DVD-my-family-owned-wait-where-was-I-oh-yes-macarons”.
Picard Macarons the First
A few weeks back I showcased the many macarons available at France’s Monoprix supermarkets. Today, I bring you macarons from the freezer aisle of Monoprix’s swankier cousin, Picard – Le Mecca of pre-prepared goodness.
But no one came here for savouries, did they? At least not today. So let’s get macaron-cracking with my first box of macarons from Picard (the second box will come later, promise).
1. Fruit de la Passion
This flavour was the Picard version of Monoprix’s Mangue-Passion, which was my least favourite of the Monoprix bunch. Luckily, Picard’s mango and passionfruit macaron was far nicer, simply because the flavour tasted real rather than fake. The mango was stronger than the passionfruit, particularly when one split the macaron and ate the thick, soft filling first. (Those Oreo ads have clearly had some influence in my life.)
This, in contrast, was a flavour combination utterly unlike those found in the Monoprix freezer aisles. Blackcurrant and violet? It sounds… pretty. Now, I must admit I wasn’t certain what “cassis” was before tasting this. However, as soon as I placed it in my mouth I was back in my Grandma Mickey’s kitchen, drinking blackcurrant cordial and watching her stir spoonfuls of caster sugar into a grated granny smith apple, just for me.
So I can clearly affirm that this macaron encapsulates the flavour of blackcurrant, while also conveying the slightly deeper, darker, yet still delicately-floral taste of violet. Quite a rich and intense experience, all up.
How did Picard’s pistachio macaron stack up against Monoprix’s version? Well, Picard’s was softer, as was the case with all of its flavours. It was also prettier, what with the pistachio crumbly bits dotted over the shell. Taste-wise? Winner winner! This had a strong and true pistachio flavour that reminded me of Vestri’s divine pistachio white chocolate. Unlike the vague nuttiness of Monoprix’s Gout Pistache, this was pistachio all the way. Yay, Picard. (Oooh, I just had an urge to do the Vulcan Salute.) (Also, I had to google “star trek hand signal” in order to find out that it’s called the Vulcan Salute. Just so you know.)
This was the real surprise of the box – the licorice macaron. I detested licorice as a child, yet am starting to think that it’s time to give the real deal another try. I’ve found myself enjoying anise-flavoured and licorice-flavoured chocolates, and I really liked this macaron. The licorice flavour was subtle and the buttercream filling smooth, nutty, and sweet, with just a hint of herbal, smoky licorice. Definitely my favourite of this first Picard collection.
I shall end here for the night, I think. I slept quite well yesterday but am flagging a bit now, which is partly to do with jetlag and partly to do with being a bit cranky at my toe.
See, first thing this morning I visited my doctor, and despite beginning to hope that antibiotics alone could cure the toe, such is not to be. In fact, not only do I need surgery again, but I need slightly more of it. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is very minor surgery, and I’m hugely grateful that I managed to make it through four months of travelling. In addition, I recognise that having to sit in a chair watching movies and eating my travel souvenirs is hardly a tragedy. Still, it’s a bit frustratingly tedious to get stuck in non-moving-non-job-hunting-non-getting-on-with-life for the next little while. At least this time around, I have not only my Canberra buddies and family to keep me entertained but all of you and this blog, right?
Cheers, and thanks!